Source, Philadelphia Business Journal, Natalie Kostelni
Between July 2016 and January 2017, Perry Kaplan easily called Qlik 50 times trying to win its real estate business.
Such is the burden of trying to sell your services to a client that has never met you, but Kaplan’s perseverance paid off. After seven months, three pitches and a change in real estate directors at the data analytics software company, Kaplan, who works as a managing director for Savills Studley, was hired by the company to help it search for new office space.
Qlik ended up signing a 10-year lease on 62,000 square feet at 211 S. Gulph Road in King of Prussia and later this year will relocate its headquarters and 300 employees from 150 Radnor-Chester Road in Radnor. How it got to that location came after an exhaustive search to find the right space for what the fast-growing company wanted in a new headquarters. The company started out in about 12,000 square feet at 150 Radnor-Chester Road in 2005 and has grown to 64,000 square feet.
“We were looking for a space that would kind of blow out collaboration,” said Mike Capone, Qlik’s new CEO. “I’m a big believer in a highly collaborative environment.”
That’s not so easy to accomplish where is it today, occupying multiple floors at 150 Radnor-Chester. “[Our current] building is beautiful and serviced really well but you can see from the flow it’s not very open,” Capone said. “It’s very traditional. We are a tech company, and I value that open space and the ability to shout across the hall. If we have a problem, let’s get together and solve it.”
Kaplan and colleagues Tim Monahan and Elaine Marquardt were figuring out the best options for the company including staying in Radnor but also considered spaces in West Conshohocken at 100-200 Four Falls and 300 Four Falls, as well as 980 Jolly Road in Blue Bell and 211 S. Gulph. The finalists were 211 S. Gulph, remaining at 150 Radnor-Chester and 100-200 Four Falls. The South Gulph Road building rose to the top because it was a single floor and the other options involved leasing two floors.
In 2015, Roseview Group of Boston acquired the 102,204-square-foot South Gulph Road property for $21 million. Roseview bought the single-story property from O’Neill Properties Group and the Arsenal Fund, which bought it in 2007 and converted what was an old data center into office space. When Roseview bought it, Accenture occupied 62,000 square feet in the building but ended up vacating the space. Not long after that, Roseview enlisted D2 Solutions to come up with a plan to rebrand it with a series of renovations.
Qlik was enamored with the building and the proposed design changes. The company was originally going to take 48,000 square feet but continued to grow during the search and leased 62,000 square feet of the former Accenture space.
“The facility itself was spectacular,” Capone said. “It’s one floor instead of three, which is what we’re in right now. It’s one space instead of the bridges and corridors we have now, and the floor plan was great so we’ll open it all up, and have the ability to have tons and tons of collaboration space and not a lot of offices. I want it to be a showcase to bring clients. I want the feel to be, ‘Hey, we are a tech company,’ but when you walk in [Qlik’s current office] it’s very traditional. I want to wow people. That will attract employees from all spectrums or careers but as we look to add some engineering and data science talent, it’s nice to have a facility like that.”
The deal also reflects the continued attention King of Prussia continues to receive from investors and tenants.
“King of Prussia is on the rise,” Monahan said. “There was nothing that was going to change or be different in Radnor. They would get a monument sign and that was OK, but is there any sweeping plan to transformative? No. Would they have lived through a renovation? Yes. Would you get 30-foot high ceilings? No.”
As a result of the lease, the building at 211 S. Gulph is now fully leased. Its other tenants are Academic Urology, Cotiva Institute, Integrated Physical Therapy and Regulatory Datacorp Inc. Qlik is expected to move in this November.